Shin Splints - Causes

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What causes shin splints?

A primary culprit causing shin splints is a sudden increase in distance or intensity of a workout schedule. This increase in muscle work can be associated with inflammation of the lower leg muscles, those muscles used in lifting the foot (the motion during which the foot pivots toward the tibia). Such a situation can be aggravated by a tendency to pronate the foot (roll it excessively inward onto the arch).

Similarly, a tight Achilles tendon or weak ankle muscles are also often implicated in the development of shin splints.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Alexander, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: December 19

I broke my foot 2 months ago while playing soccer, and I spent 5 weeks in splint. I have recently begun to run, practice boxing and play soccer again, and I notice that I can only make about half of the distance I could on my runs before the splints start hurting too much to continue. My Splints are probably occurring because I have not been able to use the ankle and foot during the recovery period, hence the muscles and ligaments are weaker and more prone to stress while running.

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Comment from: SJ, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I have been suffering on and off with shin splints in both legs for years. Pretty much anytime I try to jog or fast walk. I am trying so hard to be able to enjoy the outside and go for a jog like everyone else can. I'm not even trying to run marathons or anything. I'd be happy if I could reach 2 or 3 miles even! I have custom orthotics in my shoes from a foot doctor and USD 140 running shoes. I tried the calf sleeve and was in so much more pain I had to roll them down immediately. It is horrible. I have a standup desk now and I have been doing calf raises and foot flexing hoping this helps! I don't know what else to do. I really haven't tried icing though that I'll admit!

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